John Pedroncelli was one of those quiet leaders; you know them, they’re the most in tune with harmony.

[The Pedroncelli family photo is borrowed from their Website.]

The title read, “John Pedroncelli, prominent Dry Creek winemaker, dies at 89,” and my heart sank… We’ve lost a great one from Dry Creek Valley and from PS I Love You.

From a story written by Bill Swindell of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, we learn the history of the winery, from John’s perspective:

John Pedroncelli, a second-generation vintner who was instrumental in building Sonoma County’s wine industry, particularly in the Dry Creek Valley that he called home for almost all of his life, died Sunday [January 4, 2015] at home after a monthslong battle with cancer. He was 89.

Pedroncelli, along with his brother, Jim, was a key figure in the history of the county’s winemaking as it emerged from a craft business practiced by a few families after World War II to today’s multibillion-dollar industry known worldwide.

He was 2 when his family purchased the winery and moved to Geyserville in 1927. With the exception of serving two years as a radar man in the Coast Guard, Pedroncelli spent almost all of his life around the winery and was a daily fixture up until last year, even providing advice on 2014’s early harvest.

When I began PS I Love You in 2002, the Pedroncellis were right there to support the effort to get more publicity for the variety. Not only did he begin with the first efforts, but he has continued to support what is and has been done to get publicity for the cultivar. But, it’s not just this group that he supports. The Pedroncellis believe in supporting the advocacy groups that need members, in order to help them with their own marketing. These leaders are the gems and jewels of the wine business. Each owner with whom I interface… they give me the encouragement that I need to carry on.

John’s niece Julie is my constant contact, and when we need support, she’s right there. Obviously, her dad Jim and her Uncle John have taught her the importance of business connections and contributions. It’s the history of the winery, via John and brother Jim, that Julie carries through seamlessly.

Bill Swindell also contains a great quote from Honore Comfort:

“He preserved the past while looking ahead to find innovative solutions in a changing winemaking environment… John’s legacy will be his unwavering commitment to the land, to winemaking and to his family which epitomizes the spirit of Sonoma County’s great wine families.”

We’re all going to miss John’s direct involvement; however, his kind heart and business acumen will continue.

It is said that we remain alive as long as one person still thinks about you… John Pedroncelli will remain in my heart through eternity, and I know that Jim and Julie’s families feel the same. We’ve lost the body of a great man and wine leader, but not his enduring spirit…